Skin Tags (Acrochordons)

Skin Tags (Acrochordons)

Skin tags are non-cancerous growths that typically do not cause problems or require treatment. However, they can be pesky and cause issues ranging from cosmetic concerns to discomfort. They might catch on a razor, clothing, jewelry, or bed linens, which can be uncomfortable. Skin tags are common in both men and women over the age of 50. They can appear all over the body, however, they are most commonly found in places where your skin folds. In this article, we discuss the causes of skin tags, as well as treatment and removal options.

Skin Tags (Acrochordons)

What causes a skin tag?

First, some people have a genetic predisposition to getting skin tags. Therefore, if your mom and or dad had or have them, you are more likely to get them. Second, there is a major component of skin rubbing on the skin. For this reason, we tend to see them in folds/creases of skin, including the neck, armpits, eyelids, and around the groin. The more skin rubs in these areas, the more likely a skin tag will form. As a result, we frequently see them in well-nourished patients.

They can be of varying size from tiny little flecks like a grain of sand to as large as a fist. The best dermatologists know that just because it looks like a skin tag, it might not be. There are numerous other types of growths that can appear tag-like on the outer layer of the skin. These include warts and growths called seborrheic keratosis. Some moles can even look like a skin tag.

Skin Tag Treatment Options

Although you can treat skin tags, most do not need treatment. For this reason, dermatologists and insurance providers consider skin tag treatment to be cosmetic. Although insurance companies used to cover treatment if it caused symptoms, they no longer do. Therefore, you can expect some out-of-pocket expenses with skin tag treatment. Treatment can cause discomfort or even bleeding.

How are skin tags removed?

Our dermatology providers are often asked about over-the-counter remedies. To date, we have not seen evidence that any of these treatments are effective. Some patients ask about tying a string around the skin tag to remove it. There are many risk factors involved in doing so, therefore we do not recommend patients trying this. To avoid infection, scarring, and unnecessary pain, we recommend seeing a dermatologist. The three best treatments include freezing, cauterizing, and snip excision. If the skin tag is small, you will likely feel no more than a pinprick. If it is larger, your dermatologist may use a numbing medication so you don’t feel it.

Removing a Skin Tag

When your dermatologist treats these growths, they will consider several different factors including size, location, and general health history. They will also consider whether or not you take any blood-thinning medications including but not limited to aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatories. If you have skin tags that you worry about or bother you, consider contacting Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands to speak with a professional today.

Additional Information: 5 Reasons to See a Dermatologist for Mole, Skin Tag Removal (American Academy of Dermatology)

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